The family of a construction worker who was killed in January while working on Baylor University’s new on-campus football stadium has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university and several construction and equipment companies. The family members of Jose Dario Suarez filed their lawsuit in Harris County, Texas. One of the defendants, Flexifloat Construction Systems, is located in Houston.
Baylor, Flexifloat Construction Systems, Austin Commercial Inc., Austin Bridge and Road, Derr and Isbell Construction Inc. and Genie Industries Inc. are named as Defendants in the complaint. Austin Commercial, Austin Bridge and Road, and Derr and Isbell are construction companies building Baylor’s McLane Stadium and a walking bridge over the Brazos River linking the stadium to campus.
The worker drowned after a hydraulic lift he and another construction worker were strapped to slipped or rolled from a modular barge into the Brazos River. Suarez and another man were working on the pedestrian bridge over the river behind Baylor Law School. The other man was able to untether himself after the lift went into the river, but Suarez was unable to do so. Divers found Suarez’s body in the water, still strapped to the lift about four hours later.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident, but has not released its report. Flexifloat is identified in the lawsuit as the designer, manufacturer and marketer of the barge on which Suarez and others were working. The lawsuit alleges the barge was defectively designed, manufactured and marketed, a “producing cause” of the incident. The lawsuit identifies Genie Industries as a company that designed, manufactured and marketed the boom lift to which Suarez was harnessed. It also alleges faulty design with the lift. Vuk Vujasinovic, a Houston lawyer, represents the Suarez family in the lawsuit.
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